lightening the burdens
EFT peeled back the layers of negative feelings that I had inadvertently accumulated over my lifetime. These had turned into emotional burdens that dragged me down and made me ill.
the cloak of guilt
To my horror I discovered that what I thought was a reasonably good relationship with my elderly mum and my twin brother was in fact very toxic. For the first time I found myself accepting that my mother, a retired teacher, had an overbearing need to control others, and that my brother’s drink problem had got completely out of control. He was an alcoholic, but my mother’s continual insistence that I (his twin) could and should help him had led me to feel more and more guilty and helpless.
For a number of years my widowed mother, who lived in England, had been increasingly demanding of my time. Despite having a registered carer, in the form of my brother, she was constantly on the phone, asking me to come and see her. This I did on a regular basis until I became ill. But then the cloak of guilt fell even more heavily on my shoulders because it upset her so much that I could not make the journey so often. I had arranged for private carers to come in twice a day but unfortunately after a few days my brother shouted angrily at them to stop interfering and they refused to go back.
I was shocked when I uncovered deep jealousy of my twin brother. He would usually remain incapable with drink in his room during my visits, but my mother explained that he was often ‘tired’ and seldom came downstairs before evening. But, working backwards through my life I knew that even from before we were born I had resented his presence in MY mother’s womb.
My great sorrow was that I could not prevent my twin from slowly killing himself with alcohol. But, through the process of EFT, I understood that he, like me, could have worked out his hang ups, but that he did not want to. I had to accept that it was something out with my control, one of my life’s lessons learned.
It was an eye-opener when I recognised how much resentment I was harbouring towards my mother. During the EFT process I observed that all my life I believed that she favoured my brother who, it seemed to me, could do no wrong in her eyes. On the other hand I had never felt good enough to earn our mum’s special smile, no matter how hard I tried. It would have been funny, if it wasn’t so sad, that even as a woman in her fifties I was still trying to be her good little girl!
growing up at last
I felt an enormous rush of relief when I realised that my childish perceptions of favouritism were actually misconceptions. They could safely be disregarded because I was now a grown woman! When I saw that all my mum had ever wanted was what she thought best for her children, I felt a lifetime of dark thoughts float away. Instead of bitter resentment of my brother I began to remember lots of fun times we had all enjoyed as a family and realised how lucky we were to have had a mother who cared so much about us.
Erika and I persuaded mum that, in her final years, it made much more sense for her to come and stay with us in Scotland during the winters, and it worked really well! To start with, mum was a little reluctant to leave my brother, but he was greatly taken with this idea, and virtually pushed her out of the door, promising he would drive himself north in time for Christmas. So this decided it for mum and she happily climbed into our car with her bags and her little dog saying she was really looking forward to her holiday.
Apart from her phoning my brother pretty much every day, which I realised annoyed me greatly, we got along better than we ever had. We finally became friends and, when we chatted, I learned things about her life that I had never known before, which gave me an insight into what had made her such a strong woman.
However she still refused to talk about the son I had given up for adoption and that brought up feelings inside me that had been buried for my entire adult life. According to my mum, I had been ‘a disgrace to the family’ and she asked me never to remind her of my shameful behaviour, ever again. That book, as far as she was concerned, was closed. So, harder than acknowledging and dismissing my sibling jealousy was recognising how much guilt and pain I felt she had forced upon me, almost forty years previously.
Fortunately I was still attending my EFT group meetings and for the first time I allowed myself to go back in my mind through those dark, difficult days. In the uncritical and supportive environment of Alan’s group, I recognised and wept for the lonely and scared young girl that I had been back then, and I forgave myself. I accepted that my mum was of a different generation and that I could never change her way of seeing things. I also saw how much of her existed within me, and understood that many of the things that annoyed me about her were, in fact, aspects of myself that I needed to come to terms with.
After uncovering and dealing with the damaging effects of that episode I faced up to a much more recent event. Incredibly, when my second son died I had subconsciously told myself that I was being punished for giving away my first son. Not only was I feeling the inevitable grief for my loss, I was also beating myself up with unnecessary guilt as well. With all this painful emotion hidden deep inside me it was no wonder that I had fallen ill.
My mother passed on to that great school in the sky, but before she died I was able to talk to her as an adult and a much loved friend. This only became possible once I had taken my place as another woman in her life instead of her “desperately trying to please but never quite making it” daughter.
I felt very blessed that, at the end of her life, I was honestly able to tell her how much I loved her and how grateful I was for the lessons she had taught me. It made me very happy that she passed away, at the age of ninety-eight, knowing that she and I were finally friends.
Sadly, my twin brother only survived our mother for a short while before his body succumbed to the ravages of alcohol. I now know that this was his choice and nobody could have prevented it, not even me, his twin.
A happy side effect of EFT was that I was able to release countless other burdens and emotional baggage that I had been carrying around most of my life. As the traumas were uncovered and released so did my mind lighten.